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The book opens with Ponyboy beginning his story. Ponyboy is coming home from the movies and he is stopped by a group of Socs. Before they hurt him too badly his gang comes along to run them off. It is here that we meet the main members of the "greasers." We meet Ponyboy's older brothers, Darry and Sodapop. We also meet Johnny, Two-Bit, Steve, and Dally.
After things get settled down some of the boys make plans to meet at the Drive-In that night. At the Drive-In we get to meet Cherry Valance and Marcia. We also learn a little more about Ponyboy. Dally is harassing the girls and Johnny speaks up to tell him to stop. Dally gets angry and goes for a Coke and Pony and Johnny move up to talk to the girls. After the movie the boys are going to drive the girls home but their "boyfriends" drive up and make the girls go with them. The Socs all leave in the Mustang and Johnny and Ponyboy go to the empty lot.
Ponyboy and Johnny fall asleep and wake up late. When Ponyboy walks into the house late Darry jumps on him and finally smacks Pony in the face. Pony runs out and goes to find Johnny in the empty lot. They walk to the park and just before they decide to head home the Socs drive up and jump them.
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